New Trend: Strobing

New Trend: Strobing

(note: I’m taking a few days off; it’s too hot to blog. love you guys)

The trend

You probably saw it already: the new trend is called ‘strobing’. Unsurprisingly, it basically means ‘a whole lot of highlighting’. I think it’s the perfect trend for summer, for a lady doesn’t sweat, she glows! 😉

Nikkie has a great tutorial for it. I love her; she’s so funny.

Basically, you’ve got two options to go about it: either you start with a mostly matte base, powder down and then use powder highlighter, or you go for the full glow with a luminous base and cream or liquid highlighters.

the products

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Here are some base products that I use for a subtle glow:

Dior BB Creme, not overly shiny, but certainly not matte and a perfect base for me. Attention fellow Austrians: the lightest color 01 is being phased out! I stocked up on it. 😦 The other colors are staying.

Then I’ve got my usual concealer: Clinique airbrush. This is an undereye concealer with a bit of highlighting properties. Undereyes only, we don’t want our spots highlighted! For blemishes I used my normal, non highlighting concealer (not pictured).

In the middle of the pic I put what should have chronologically come first: two primers. Both are only subtle illuminating primers, not full on glow. First there’s the MAC CC Cream in Illuminate. Illuminate is a light purple color and the only MAC CC cream light enough for me. It is less shimmery than my previous primer from MAC (Fortified Skin Enhancer), but it has a bit of shimmer. Second primer is Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. This is what I use if I want a perfect finish. Somehow Beauty Flash Balm makes all layers go together in perfection. It has a bit of peachy shimmer, but also not too visible. If you want more shimmer in the primer, there are many options out there, from Clarins to pretty much every brand. Personally I think a primer is necessary for a look with a strong highlight, because the primer makes the skin more even. I never had a problem with highlighters enhancing my pores if I wore a good primer.

And last I packed a body glow product onto the pic: Soap & Glory Glow Lotion. I think if we’re going overboard with the face glow we might as well have a matching body. Any shimmery body product will do.

Strobing

And now on to the actual highlighters:

For a more champagney glow I’ve got Benefit Watt’s up, an easy to use cream highlighter. For a pink highlight, the liquid high beam, also by Benefit. For a light golden glow I have my alverde Schimmerfluid Meeresglanz. This was sadly a limited item, but there are many good options at the drugstore these days.

And for powder highlighter I’ve got the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade. Not pictured, but Kiko has released some great new powder highlighters: beam of light (review upcoming).

And if you don’t have a powder highlighter, there’s no need to rush out and buy one (unless you want to) because in reality a light shimmery eyeshadow will the do the trick just as well. Here I’ve got my Extra Dimension Shadow in A Natural Flirt, simply because it was on top of the makeup drawer. You only need to make sure it is not too shimmery and blends well. 🙂

the application

With liquid highlighters (and the creamy stick of Watt’s up) I still use my fingers for application; I simply use more than I would use for a subtle look. The biggest change for me was in appliction of powder products: I used apply them with a fan brush, but it never quite looked like I wanted. Not enough, not well blended etc. For strobing I started to use a blush brush instead and finally it looks the way I want it to look! I’ll stick with the blush brush. (actually I’m using the Bobbi Brown Face Blender. That thing blends everything like a charm.) For smaller parts (inner corner, top of lip etc) I’ll use either fingers or a small eye blending brush.

So that’s it, have fun with your highlight and ditch the contour. 😀 Let’s all be faeries, wheee!

Most used Makeup April & May 2015

Most used Makeup April & May 2015

Fav May

Took a while, but here are the makeup items I used the most in the two previous months. They’re not exactly my favorites, since sometimes you love an item very, very much and then it turns out you barely used it. And sometimes you don’t even notice a thing, but reach for it again and again.

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So these are the makeup items I used more than any others:

1. Guerlain Crazy Terracotta: as an orange toned blush/bronzer. It looks innocent here, but it really ends up being mostly coral, not bronzy. I don’t understand how it still looks new after I had and used t for many months. Guerlain magic.

2. Lip liners MAC Fruit Cocktail and Rosy Rim: Rosy Rim goes with almost everything, so it saw a lot of use. Fruit Cocktail is for orange and coral lips.

3. Lipstick MAC Morange: used on its own or with Fruit Cocktail. Honestly, when I bought it I thought I wasn’t going to use it much. Then I had a massive orange phase. 😄

4. Eyeliner: Chanel Orchidee. So summery. So lovely.

5. Mascara: Chanel Le Volume Khaki Bronze: My mascara staple. Perfect for subtle definition of my naturally blonde lashes. Sadly, it’s on its last legs and was limited edition. 😦 You’ll see it in a used up post soon.

6. Maybelline the Nudes: I succumbed and bought a nude palette. Review upcoming. Reason it landed in my “most used” is that I had to try all the shades before reviewing it. But (like any nude palette) it is also very useful for a quick and subtle eye look, so I wore it to work pretty much every day.

7. alverde Schimmerfluid Meeresglanz: a highlighter from a past alverde summer collection. Gives a lovely subtle golden shimmer, not sparkly at all. Pity it isn’t permanent.

Summer Favorites

Summer Favorites

Last year I did a “Spring Favorites” post and then dropped the ball on it. I’d like to pick it up again. Technically it is still spring, but depending on the weather it is  already warm enough to pull out all your summer things. (My apologies to everyone on the South Half who always gets these posts at the wrong time of the year.)

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Ta-da! These are my faithful summer helpers.

Top left, a pair of sunglasses. To be honest I wear sunglasses all year round, they are on the pic for the flair and because I couldn’t get a bikini to fit in the pic. I ruin about one pair of sunglasses a year; I am super clumsy when it comes to that. So I always buy cheap ones, I could not bear to throw a lot of money down this particular drain.

Underneath: sunscreen. It’s Sundance (a cheap brand available at DM) with SPF 30. But I don’t mean this particular sunscreen, any with SPF 30 will do. I can’t wear less because I burn easily, but in general more than SPF 30 is also not necessary. I read somewhere that SPF 30 blocks 97% of sun rays while SPF 50 blocks 98%. This in combination with the fact that SPF 50 is always more expensive and usually has a worse texture makes me reach for products in the SPF 30-35 range for everyday use. But since I am so pale I would reach for SPF 50 for a real holiday when I spend most of the day outside.

Then there’s a bottle of OPI nail polish in a very light shade, My Boyfriend Scales Walls. I like light shades when it’s very hot.This particular one is not white, it’s a very light grey but unless you put white next to it you can’t tell. It is easier to wear than pure white though.

For my makeup favorites, there is Chanel‘s Rouge Coco Shine in Pygmalion from last year’s summer collection. It’s a strong coral and the perfect texture for summer. Then Guerlain Crazy Terracotta from last year’s holiday collection. Yes, it was a winter collection, but I think it really shows its beauty when the sunlight hits the skin. (It’s less shimmery than the regular Terracotta powders.) Underneath alverde shimmering highlighter, from last year’s summer collection. It’s my current favorite liquid highlighter, it’s so easy to apply and gives off a lovely golden shimmer. And last, Becca Beach Tint in Papaya. This is a liquid rouge with gel texture. It’s claims to be waterproof, it smells nice and I find it pretty easy to put on cheeks. It can also be used on the lips, but there it seeps into the lines and dries out the skin, so I prefer to use the Chanel lipstick instead.

The yellow chapstick thing is also by Sundance and you can’t see it in this pic, but it’s SPF 50. This resides exclusively in my beach bag and I use it on my lips, but also my ears, nose, and around my eyes for touch ups. As a lip balm it’s pretty terrible, though.

And last but not least, my Soap & Glory Glow Lotion. While it could be used all year round, it would be pretty useless when you cover the body up anyway. So I mostly pull it out when it’s warm. I never get a proper tan, but when I put this on at least I can pretend I’m Galadriel or somehing. 😀

 

What are your “can’t live without” summer items?

All Used Up May 2014

All Used Up May 2014

I had no empties in April, but a couple of almost empties, so there are a few for May:

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Lacoste Pour Femme shower gel: This was a repurchase because I like the scent. Would buy again, but I have several others to use up first.

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BeYu Curling Star Mascara: As the name says, this is all about the curl. I don’t usually have much problems keeping my curl, unless I wear a volumising mascara that wears the lashes down. This mascara is very lightweight, so for me the curl stayed. No volumizing, no lengthening, just plain black mascara. Did not smudge on me, but crumbled quite a bit.

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Biotherm Eau Fraiche: Okay, this isn’t so much used up as sniffed once, but since I decided to add in perfume reviews I’ll talk about it. It includes notes of pear, coriander seeds and jasmine absolute. To me it mostly smells of cucumber, and an hour or two later the jasmine comes out. The jasmine lasted all day. If you like fresh and uncomplicated and jasmine, it’s worth a sniff.

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Eau Thermale Avene Hydrance Riche: It says dry to very dry skin, I’d say very dry skin only. This is very rich. Also soothing.

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alverde brow gel transparent: really good and very cheap. Only downside: the brush is so big. I would prefer it to be smaller.

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Kenzo Flower in the Air: Eau de Parfum. Yes I’m the sort of person who actually uses those little samples. I like switching my perfume every week. Anyway, so this is, as the name suggests, a flowery one. But it’s not like those sickly sweet gourmand perfumes! It is a strong flowery scent, but also somehow fresh. I enjoyed it greatly.

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And last, but not least: Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Feline Blacks Mascara

This gives length and volume in only one coat. It’s certainly a va-va-voom mascara. This was only a 2 ml sample (the full size I think has the gold and black reversed) but it lasted pretty long. Longer than the 5 ml mascara I showed up there. Three coats of this could rival falsies. It did not crumble on me, but.

Here’s the thing. Two hours after application:

Captain-America-2-Sebastian-Stan-Winter-Soldier (Picture courtesy of Marvel)

It smudges! It smudges so hard! And I don’t usually have much of a smudging problem. Would never buy a full size considering the price.

And these were my empties for the last month. Thank you for reading.

Not used up

Not used up

I did not have any empties in April, but I did spring cleaning, so let me show you products I used, but then chucked away half full.

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alverde Blond Conditioner Hopfenblüte Honig: I liked this conditioner, it made hair super soft and easy to brush. But I used it only occassionally (would make hair limp if used too often) and I’ve had it forever and a day and it smelled funky when I found it in the back of the cabinet. So it had to go, but it was not a bad product at all.

 

Kanebo Sensai Prime Solution: This was supposed to be an additional step in moisturizing, used before any other products to make them work better. I had suspicions it broke me out. It probably didn’t, but it didn’t have any positive effects either. Usually I would let it lie for a few months and then try again. However, the product is impossible to get out. This thing has no pump, and it’s made from several layers of hard plastic, making it impossible to squeeze even a tiny bit. If it was liquid enough to come out on its own, that would be okay. But it was such a hassle getting even the slightest bit of product out, that I decided to give up.

 

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bebe more Fresh Eyes & Face make up remover: it does remove eye make up very well and did not burn inside of my eye. However, it burned on my skin and made it very red. The next day, my skin would be very dry and peel off. This thing is supposed to be for sensitive skin. I beg to differ. I stopped using and chucked it away because I was afraid it would ruin my skin. It took me two weeks of using to come to this decision. I was very determined to like it, and it does remove make up well. But no, wasn’t worth it.

 

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bebe more brighten up: possibly the worst skin cream I have used, ever. It gives pretty much no moisture at all. It is also highly reflective and not in the good way. It makes you look oily even if your skin is dry. So in my eyes, this makes it unsuitable for any skin type.

 

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The Body Shop 100% natural lip roll on: Tastes sweet. Does not do anything else at all. Gives no moisture or protection. My lips cracked a lot and so I threw it out.

 

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alverde liquid rouge: started to smell funky. That’s always a chance with liquid makeup, sadly.

Both alverde products were long past their ‘best before’ dates.

 

The only reason the great majority of Glossybox hair stuff isn’t on there is that I didn’t even open them. I only list things I really tried to use up but couldn’t. By the way, I have unsubscribed from Glossybox for now. I have a backlog to go through and their quality isn’t what it used to be. I might get weak with the one time boxes, though.

What’s in the box?

What’s in the box?

No, I don’t have another beauty box subscription. Instead I decided to put my most needed items and a few others into my prettiest Glossybox box to have them handy. I decided to combine this with the concept of “stash-shopping”, so that I’ll have a full box of make up items and will not use any other for a t least a whole week. Stash-shopping means that instead of buying more items, you go through what you already own and pick items from there. I’ll have yet to perfect my stash shopping skills. Anyway, here’s my box of the last week:

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What do we have here?

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Emite eyelash curler. Possibly the product from Glossybox I was the most skeptical about which turned out to be the most useful.

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My foundation duo – Catrice Infinite Matt foundation and MAC Prep&Prime Fortified Skin Enhancer with SPF 35:

You can see I use the Catrice foundation a lot. Sadly, it has already been discontinued so I spare you the review. I combine it with the MAC Prep&Prime because the foundation doesn’t have any SPF. I think it makes the foundation last a little longer too, but it’s not omg the best primer ever. It’s in the box because I’ve had it for a while and I’m trying to use it up. It has a tendency to really cling to the skin so washing it off is a pain.

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The concealer duo: Clinique airbrush concealer and MAC Studio Finish concealer with SPF 35

I have tried to use the same product both under my eyes and on blemishes but that never works. I’m happier with one for under eyes and one for blemishes. I like the Clinique one very much, the coverage is not full but it’s still a huge difference to me without under eye concealer. You can see the Studio Finish concealer gets a lot of use – I think it’s the best concealer I’ve tried. The pictured color is NC 20. In the darkest days of winter I switch to NC 15, but that one sees less use than this one. I like them better than benefit‘s boi-ing (I have boi-ing in 01 and 02, one is too pale, the other too pink). The quality is comparable but I still like MAC’s better.

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Another item in daily use: alverde transparent eye brow gel. I used to pluck my brows and sometimes dye them, but I stopped both during 2013. Since my brows are thick and untamed now a little brushing and gel helps.

Lancome‘s eclat miracle is a subtle highlighter that I keep on forgetting to use. I don’t use highlighter regularly but I want to use this more. That’s why it’s in the box.

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Two items I’ve owned for years and that don’t see much use: Clinique high impact mascara is my oldest mascara. It’s still good, but I’m trying to use it up before it goes bad. Except, I haven’t used any mascara in about two months, so the plan is not going so well. (First I barely wore eye make up, then I went no make up and then I dyed my blonde eyelashes black which makes such a huge difference that I don’t feel like I need mascara – note to self: never buy mascara again)

MAC prep&prime eye is what I use underneath powder eye shadows unless I use cream shadow instead. I also don’t use powder shadows that much, so this item didn’t get much love lately. I dug it out to use underneath my new Chanel shadows, works very well.

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These on the other hand are in the box because they are new: The jelly pong pong liner from the last Glossybox (great for a very easy smokey eye, use nothing but this and your finger); Catrice cream eyeshadow in Copper&Gabbana (was on sale, obviously); and last Chanel cream stick shadow in Pink Lagoon which I had to grab before it wasn’t available anymore. So far I think Chanel does the best cream sticks. The last two items go very well with the shadows in my Oasis palette, which I showed here.

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And last, MAC Casual Color for lip& cheek in Relaxation is in the box because it is my current favorite blush. It was a limited edition, a little creamier than normal MAC creme blushes and therefore super easy to apply.

The other two items were my first attempt at stash shopping, mostly picked because I had not seen them in a while, not because they go particularly well with the rest (need to put more thought in next time). Clarins Eclat Minute blush in Brown Fizz as a bronzer and Clarins Rouge Hydra Nude with SPF 6 in 03. If this color had a name then I don’t know it, sorry. I’ve had this lipstick for a long time and it’s quite fascinating: it smells strongly of sweets, like chocolate with nougat. That makes it a little annoying to wear because I keep on trying to lick it off.

The other items you saw in the box are my newest Chanel acquisitions so I won’t show them again.

Swatches:

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Top Clarins lipstick, underneath a dot of brown fizz.

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Spread out. It looks better on the cheeks I promise…

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From top to bottom: MAC casual color in Relaxation, Catrice Copper&Gabbana, Chanel stick in Pink Lagoon. Pink Lagoon didn’t photograph very well, it’s so gorgeous in reality.

So, this was my everyday make up items combined with some extras. How do you store your most used items? Do you stash-shop? How often do you rotate your looks?

little drugstore haul & liquid highlighter comparisons

little drugstore haul & liquid highlighter comparisons

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So, I got these things: Ebelin nail polish remover pads (a repurchase as the old ones are almost used up); Catrice mattifying oil control paper, thought these might come in handy this summer. I have never used any before, so I’m curious. And alverde Schimmer Fluid, more about that farther down.

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And last I got a Kate Moss lipstick by Rimmel.

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Color is 16, which is very bright.

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Swatch. The finish is more matte than shiny and it’s highly pigmented. Despite that, it does not dry the lips out. It feels great on the lips. And it’s cheap. Only downside is that it is scented. Not badly, but I’m campaigning for less useless perfume in beauty products. No, it’s a great lipstick and I’m tempted to buy more colors.

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And now to the alverde highlighter: Here you can see the small opening of the pump. It’s very directional, you don’t get too much product out. This highlighter seems to be part of alverde’s summer collection, so it’s probably limited edition.

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Comparison to my other liquid & cream highlighters. From left to right, Lancome Eclat Miracle, Benefit Watt’s Up!, Benefit High Beam (both are mini sizes), and last the new alverde shimmer fluid.

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Freshly applied: Top is Benefit Watt’s Up (Which is a stick product and so doesn’t need to be spread anymore); underneath Benefit High Beam, then alverde and last the watery mess that is Lancome Eclat Miracle.

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With the product spread: Watt’s Up!, High Beam, alverde, and Eclat Miracle. You can easily see the strongest ones are by benefit, the first bronzey, the second pink. Alverde comes subtle with golden shimmer and Lancome is subtle with more whitish shimmer.

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Closeup of only alverde (top, golden) and Lancome (white silvery).

In conclusion, alverde is the lightest and most subtle product (but it is buildable). I think the golden color is beautiful and it can be worn in bright daylight without looking like a sparklepire. Consistency and application are most comparable to high beam. It is also super cheap, like 3 ,50 € or so. Only downside? Again the scent. This thing smells of coconuts and pineapples, which I find pretty annoying.

All used up in May

All used up in May

I’m not allowed to buy more skin care products until I’ve used up the stash that’s been collecting in my drawers. This month I made at least some headway in this department.

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The one thing I am allowed to buy since I constantly run out of it is hand cream, though. Here a sad empty pot of Absinthe Purifying Hand Butter by the body shop can be seen. This was very helpful with my hands and nails too I believe. Or maybe it was the body shop nail file I purchased along with it. I liked that unlike most body shop products the scent of this wasn’t so in your face.

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Alverde Pflegedusche Vanilleblüte Mandarine (shower gel): This has been in the back of the drawer forever. I finally put it in the gym bag and used it up. I liked the gentle sweet smell. But since I had it for so long I don’t even know if this exists anymore. I often have this problem with Alverde or Balea products…

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Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate: Includes 10,5% of Vitamin C. Here is a sad blurry pic of the ingredients list:

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Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is the third listed ingredient, which means, yes there is a whole lot of it, even more than silicone. Usually you get mostly silicone. It did feel very silicon-y though, kind of dry. But I could use it all over with no additional moisturizer, so it’s good. Yes I know it says it’s a wrinkle concentrate but I really can’t be bothered applying a cream only in certain areas, also I advocate the use of anti-aging products against acne-prone skin. I think it did well in this regard. I didn’t have many spots while using this at all, not even during that time of the month (but note that I am on acne medication – the best face cream in the world cannot help me without that). Sometimes my face was a little red after applying it, but not always. My skin always warmed up right during application though, so not good for very hot days. The feeling stopped after a minute or two. It took me a while to realize it but this also creates a metallic smell on the skin. I think it’s the Vitamin C getting to work? *shrug*

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Biotherm Homme Aquapower: Since the Kiehl’s product made my face red sometimes I needed something gentle for the mornings because I don’t want to look angry red before I leave the house. Aquapower proved to be great for mornings. It is a light gel, you can’t feel it at all after application and it moisturizes nicely. I was surprised how much I liked it, despite the scent that I found to be strong. I don’t have a thing against manly men perfume, in fact I like it lots, I am simply no fan of scented face products. List of ingredients, also blurry I am so sorry:

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There’s a whole lot of stuff in there that I do not know what it does, but some of it is nice and moisturizing, like Urea and that Parkii Butter stuff. Anyway, since it’s a product targeted towards men it says it can be applied right after shaving. Minus the perfume, which is at least the very last ingredient, I enjoyed this cream a lot and am tempted to buy a full size for myself – should I ever run out of face cream which I am not sure will happen. Being a glossy box subscriber doesn’t help in that regard…

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Nivea Q 10 Anti-Falten Augen Roll On (anti wrinkle eye roll on): It claims to cool and reduce swelling but I wouldn’t agree here. As an eye cream it’s good though. When I applied too much, my eye area would be puffy the next day. I think it’s because it tries to reduce the appearance of wrinkles by puffing the skin up from the inside. So while a little product is good, it was hard to control how much product to get out because of the roll on. Sometimes there would be nothing, and then way too much.

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CD Q 10 Dusche (shower gel): I swear I didn’t buy Q 10 products on purpose, but they were both 50% off… Don’t have much to say about it, it’s a good shower gel.

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List of ingredients for the shower gel.

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Sensodyne Fluorid: mostly as a joke, my tooth paste. I heard it’s how you gauge internet fame; if people care about your tooth paste you made it. 😉

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And very last, a sample of Nivea Aqua Effect Mattierende Tagescreme (mattifying day cream) for combination to oily skin, SPF 15. It says it’s combination to oily, but it’s very drying so I can only recommend for skin that is oily all over.

 

Benefit Posietint vs Alverde Liquid Rouge

Benefit Posietint vs Alverde Liquid Rouge

To be honest, this post is kind of moot by now because alverde has removed the liquid rouge from its permanent range, replacing it with cream rouge instead. But I’d already done the pictures, so…

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Pictured: alverde liquid rouge in lovely pink and benefit posietint (mini size)

These reminded me of each other so I took a comparison swatch.

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Posietint comes with a little brush for application; alverde’s liquid rouge is in a tube.

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Top: Posietint brushstroke, bottom: a drop of alverde.

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Both colors spread out. Neither is very visible. Posietint is more electric pink, but in the end both are very light pink tints for lips and cheeks. The big difference is in longevity: Posietint is waterproof and will not budge, no matter how hard you try to remove it – or blend it out. I have a feeling the pigment stays where the brush went and that’s it. Blending it is a nightmare. Alverde’s product is more gel like in structure and not waterproof, therefore easy to remove. It is better to pat it on than spread it around I found, sadly I forgot to do that when I was taking pictures – patting it in makes the color more obvious.

At the end of the day I find both products to be superfluous if you have a good light pink creme rouge. That’s probably the reason alverde replaced the liquid rouge with a cream. Yet, due to the fact that alverde’s rouge spreads much easier and costs a fraction of the benefit product I declare it to be the winner of this battle. (Originally it cost about 4 € but they’re currently on clearance sale for half of that.)